Taped on October 2, 1971.
A serious but never inaccessible exchange between two scientists, with Buckley acting as catalyst, on the question: Does man have free will? One sample: MacKay: "I personally wouldn't like to take the optimistic view that anyone who goes in for cruelty as a way of ensuring survival...is bound to--" Buckley: "Self-destruct?" MacKay: "I think it would be nice if that were true, [but] I doubt it." Buckley: "When you use the word 'God' you are using a metaphor--or not?" MacKay: "No, I would take this in the specific Christian religious sense--God as one to be reckoned with." Buckley: "Does that make you uncomfortable, Mr. Skinner?" Skinner: "No, because when I listen to that sort of thing I'm running a translation inside, of course. I think that the good, personified in a god, does represent those things which we find, to use a technical term, reinforcing. They're the things which induce us to behave in certain ways. And evil? Well, the ordinary Christian picture of hell is a collection of all the aversive stimuli available at the time."
Summary by Firing Line staff.
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